MGB execs say odds of finding alive 6 missing in Toledo mining landslide are slim
CEBU CITY—Authorities expressed pessimism about finding survivors in a landslide last Dec. 21 in a mining pit in Toledo City after two days of searching.
Armando Malicse, officer-in-charge of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Central Visayas office, said experts who checked the Carmen Pit, where the landslide occurred, had expressed belief that the six persons who had gone missing could now be under water.
He said the water in the pit was also filled with slits which made the search for the missing more difficult.
“We are praying for the best but doubts that there would still be survivors from the landslide,” said Malicse after inspecting the site with other MGB regional officials.
He said anytime on Wednesday, “we will shift operations from search and rescue to search and retrieval.”
Malicse served an order for Carmen Copper Corp. (CCC), the operator of the mining site, to suspend operations following the landslide.
The order, according to Malicse, stays “until such time that the hazards are removed.”
Malicse said the four bodies that had been retrieved earlier may have either died of drowning or hit by debris or rocks when the landslide struck.
In an earlier statement, CCC said it had suspended operations while the search for the missing went on.
“As of this time, we are in close coordination and communication with the affected immediate families and will continue to extend the needed support and assistance,” CCC said in a report by INQUIRER.net on Wednesday.
“We humbly ask the general public to exercise caution and responsibility in distributing information out of respect for the affected families,” it said.
“We would like to extend our utmost gratitude to private groups and the Toledo City government emergency response team for extending valuable assistance in our search and rescue operations,” said the mining firm.
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